What Every Guy Must Have in His Man Drawer

The man drawer

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

We all have a Man Drawer, whether we know it or not. Michael McIntyre originally shed light on the subject during a sketch in his 2008 show, Live and Laughing. According to the comedian, men find a vacant drawer in the house and take possession of it. The drawer is then filled with miscellaneous items, irrespective of usage. Sound a bit like you? Alternatively, Urban Dictionary describes it as a ‘drawer at a girlfriend’s place where a man keeps a few things for when he stays over.’

This drawer is a necessity in our homes since there are always loose bits laying around. Where else would you put the man stuff? the spare keys? Or foreign currency? Stacks of appliance manuals? Not everything can be organised into a designated space. My missus describes it as a network of junk, but we all know that someday; somehow, these objects will come in handy. Plus better to have it all in one place so we can find it, right?

For other halves that are reading, here are the ground rules:

  1. Do not enter the Man Drawer
  2. Do not clear out the Man Drawer, especially not without permission
  3. Do not try to organise the Man Drawer

I’ve had a little rummage through my drawer and here’s what I believe are essential:

Appliance Manuals

user manuals

Oh, the thrill of knowing how gadgets work! It’s our rite of passage as men regardless of whether it’s a microwave or sewing machine. Who’s going to fix it when it breaks down? Us, that’s who! All jokes aside, they’re really handy for getting details on replacement parts, service help or warranty contacts. Arguably, with everything moving to online, they can be a bit redundant but who needs all that Google faff? When Francis Bacon said ‘Knowledge is Power,’ I don’t think this is what he meant.

Foreign Currency


The average household has over £70 worth of foreign currency left over from previous holidays. I’m sure we’re all thinking the same thing – we might go back one day! The ever-ubiquitous Euro or the almighty dollar. Maybe that excuse doesn’t work so well with my pesos! The vaccination program is picking up pace and that summer break to Tenerife is within touching distance again. Alternatively, you could sell that loose change online, put it towards a charitable cause or pass off an angular coin as a 50p at the local offie. Oh, come on! I’m not the only one. For those who don’t like handling cash, a Monzo does come in clutch.

Swiss Army Knife

swiss army knife

The real question is, what don’t you need this for? The Swiss Army knife is the most complete survival tool. What if there’s a power outage? A burglary? You could even use it for a spontaneous camping trip. Originally called the “Offiziersmesser,” it was later changed since American soldiers couldn’t pronounce that during the Second World War. Fast-forward to the present day and there are more than 101 uses for this miniature tool.

Takeaway Menus

Friday is International Takeaway Night so it’s only right that Man Drawers contain at least one menu. So what if I make the same order every time? Chicken madras, chicken chow mien, jerk chicken – you catch my drift. It’s about having the options! Unfortunately, some of the businesses have closed down as a result of the pandemic, so remember to support the local ones that are still operating,

Tape Measure

tape measure

As men, DIY is in our DNA and our ultimate tool is the tape measurer. You can use it to measure the kids or install a new set of blinds. But as McIntyre aptly put it, it’s not necessarily the measuring but the flick back that makes us feel manly. As a kid, I spent hours playing with the button release while my old man rebuilt the garden shed. If this gave you the urge to start your next project, here’s a handy little trick you can use while measuring.

Spare Buttons

spare buttons

The main thing as a man is to always look the part and you can’t do that with a missing button. Since spare buttons are so easy to misplace, the best place for them to live is in the Man Drawer. When one goes missing from your jacket, trousers or shirt, get the missus to sew it back on and you’re good to go! Just don’t mix-and-match them before you end up looking like Charlie Chaplin from The Gold Rush.

The Man Drawer can be anywhere, from the bedside table to a spare drawer in the kitchen. There may even be more than one! Regardless, we will mark our territory. In some cases, drawers have spread into entire cupboards or sprawled into the garage and garden shed. There’s a fine line between a Man Drawer and hoarding.  To prevent this from happening, keep the Man Drawer as small as possible. Once the drawer begins to overflow, it’s a tell-tale sign that a clear-out is due. You could either put things in their proper places or recycle them.

Cello MRUK reports that over 80 million gadgets are being hoarded, therefore must be recycled to reduce e-waste. E-waste describes electronic products including plugs, mobile phones or DVDs that end up in landfills and damage the environment. These are better off refurbished, repurposed or recycled. Visit the Recycle Now website to find out what is recyclable and find your nearest site.

If you dare to share, what is the strangest item in your Man Drawer? Take a picture and tag us on social media.